Here are some emergency and disaster resources for people in Massachusetts. Disasters can include fire, storm damage, flooding, hazardous spills and other kinds of emergencies.
Find Massachusetts Emergency Shelters – Check these resources or contact your town’s fire, police, or emergency manager to ask about shelter locations.American Red Cross Disaster Services– The American Red Cross of Massachusetts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist individuals and families displaced by natural and man-made disasters, including home fires, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, hazardous materials spills and other kinds of emergencies.
Search for Red Cross Shelters – Search for open shelters in your area.
Emergency Readiness and Supplies
FEMA Basic Disaster Supplies Kit – FEMA offers examples of what to put in an emergency supply kit. This includes basics and other things like prescription medication, food for pets, first aid supplies, personal care items and clothing.
ICE Your Phone – Add emergency contact numbers of friends and family to your cell phone by putting the word “ICE” in front of them. ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency” and responders will look for it. For instructions (and a free sticker) visit this website. If you don’t have a cell phone, write the numbers down and store them in a safe place.
Prepare for Disasters – Search for information on dealing with natural disasters such as storms and droughts, accidental and technological hazards, terrorist hazards and more.
Information for People With Disabilities & Others with Access and Functional Needs – This includes deaf or hard of hearing, blindness or low vision, mobility disability, behavior supports, service animals and more.
FDA- Offers Tips about Medical Devices and Disasters – including general safety, power outages, water contamination and heat.
Home Use Devices / How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity (pdf) – This booklet asks specific questions about any assistive equipment you may use. Answering them will increase knowledge about your equipment, and what to do in case of a power outage. Published by the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Emergency Preparedness and Response – The University of Massachusetts Medical School Shriver Center has worked to address the emergency preparedness needs of children and adults with disabilities and special health care issues, fostering development of individual, family and organizational preparedness knowledge, skills, and resilience.
Emergency Preparedness Training for Self-Advocates – Nate Trull, self-advocate, is available to provide free, two-part emergency preparedness trainings to self- advocates and organizations in Massachusetts. For more information, or to schedule a training with Nate, please contact Patrick Gleason at 774-455-4031 or Patrick.Gleason@umassmed.edu
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Be Prepared
Here are links for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s tip sheets on important related topics:
- Power Outage Safety Tips
- Winter Storm Safety Tips
- Extreme Cold Safety Tips
- Thunderstorms and Lightning Strikes Safety Tips
FEMA – Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities
FEMA Mobile App – Has weather alerts, shelter finder, emergency checklist, emergency tips and disaster information
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Hurricane Preparedness Kit – Includes protecting yourself and your family before, during, and after the storm.
Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
The resources were developed by CDC funded State Disability and Health Programs. Public health professionals, emergency personnel and communities can use them to create emergency preparedness and response plans that are inclusive of people with disabilities.
Search for additional resources at www.disabilityinfo.org
Special thanks to Patrick Gleason for composing this fact sheet.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 8/25/2020